So I had mountains of work to do at the computer… but my mind kept wandering. I think it was the aroma of the fresh pineapple I had resting on the counter that kept calling me to the kitchen. Or maybe it was the fact that I had just met Chesterfield Brown, the brand ambassador for Mount Gay Rum. Mount Gay which is based in Barbados is the oldest rum distillery in the world, dating back to 1703.
Whether it’s light or dark, spiced or plain, rum has this slightly sweet, warm fragrance that invites you in. Over lunch at Rice in the W Hotel San Diego, Brown and I sat with three wine glasses in front of us. But instead of wine, the glasses held three different styles of rum. We swirled the clear golden liquid and the bowls of the wine glasses filled with aromas of rum.
The youngest rum, the Mount Gay Eclipse, smelled of caramelized pineapple, brown sugar and vanilla. Brown said Eclipse is a fun cocktail rum, for mixing with ginger ale or ginger beer. Next we tried the Mount Gay XO which stands for extra old because it’s a blend of rums aged eight to 15 years; in case you’re headed to the Caribbean, you’ll sound in the know if you call the XO Mount Gay Black Label. It was fragrant with caramel, almonds and vanilla; Brown said the XO sets a mellow mood and is meant for relaxing with friends. The last rum we tasted was the mighty Mount Gay 1703 Old Cask Selection Rum, a super-premium rum recently launched; Brown said the master distiller took two years to perfect the blend of rums that have been aged between 10 and 30 years. This one had a rich, spicy nose and tasted of toast and leather. Brown said if he got into some Mount Gay 1703 while he was out one night, he probably wouldn’t come home at all!
Whether you plan to have a mellow weekend party or an all-out bash, this Pineapple Ginger Daiquiri will offer a delicious taste of the tropics. The fresh Ginger Syrup just may become a favorite way to dress up ice cream, to sweeten iced tea or make your own Italian sodas.
Pineapple Ginger Daiquiri
Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce Ginger Syrup (see note)
candied ginger, for garnish
Melissa’s sugar cane swizzle stick, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the rum, pineapple juice, lime juice and ginger syrup. Shake until well chilled. Pour rocks and all into a short cocktail glass. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger threaded on a sugar cane swizzle stick.
Note: To make the ginger syrup, mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup sliced fresh ginger root. Let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. The syrup will be fragrant and slightly golden. Let cool and pour into a clean glass bottle. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 30 days.